Class 360 Desiro

The Class 360 is part of the Desiro family of EMUs though unlike their cousins such as the Class 450 they do not have end unit gangways (though some test units were built with these, later removed [1]). The main batch of these EMUs, the Class 360/1, was built to replace the Class 312 on services out of Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea, Ipswich and Colchester originally for First Great Eastern but nowadays operated by Greater Anglia.

Information
Number built: 109 (25 4 or 5 car sets)
Built: 2002-05
Builder: Siemens
Engine: 1TB2016-0GB02 three-phase traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 341 hp (1, 000 kW)
Formation: 360/1: Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)
+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open (PTSO)+
Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+DMCO
360/2: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)
+PTSO+TSO+TSO+DMSO

Another batch (360/2) of 5-car sets are operated by Heathrow Connect on London Paddington - Heathrow stopping services. One set is also operated by Heathrow Express on the Heathrow Central-Terminal 4 shuttle.
Heathrow Connect 360 205 at Old Oak Common depot

Greater Anglia 360 120 passes through Romford

Bogie detail

Another view of 360 205

Greater Anglia 360 103 at Romford


[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 275

Class 86 (BR Doncaster / English Electric AL6)

The Class 86 AL6 was the production class of AC electrics built for the West Coast Main Line following on from the pilot-scheme AL1-5 (Classes 81 to 85). The AL6 took advantage of experience gained from the earlier locomotives including fitting only one pantograph and with changes to equipment though the AL6 was very similar to the Class 85 AL5 except for the stub nose cab ends.

Information
Number built: 100
Built: 1965-66
Builder: BR Doncaster / English Electric
Engine: 4 AEI 282AZ or GEC G412AZ (86/1) traction motors (25kV AC OHLE) 
Power: (86/0) 5, 900 hp (4, 400 kW) max output
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

The AL6 was designed for mixed traffic including travelling up to 100mp/h with WCML expresses. Unfortunately this caused some problems with the original axle-hung traction motors with troublesome riding qualities and damage caused to the track and to bogies. Following research at BR Derby  a "flexicoil" suspension system was adopted for fifty eight of the class which were designated Class 86/2 [1]. Another early sub-class was the 86/1, a trio rebuilt to help develop the follow-on Class 87 and able to reach 110mp/h [2][3].

Another sub-class was the 86/3 which were fitted with SAB resilient wheels and with equipment for multiple-working. The Class 86/4 were fitted with flexicoil suspension and SAB wheels for mixed-traffic. The 86/5 was a trial locomotive to test ways of improving performance on heavy  freights. The 86/6 are a sub-class used on Freightliner trains, finally the 86/9s were a couple of locomotives used as load banks by Network Rail.

Despite their advancing years the Class 86 can still be regularly seen on the network, mostly hauling Freightliner trains though also on some passenger charters (86 259 as shown below has been returned to it's original Electric Blue [4]). Some have also been exported to Eastern Europe.
86 259 heads through Stafford with a railtour

Class 86 in British Rail days (KD Collection)

86 259 at Tyseley

[1] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 64
[2] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives in Colour (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 25
[3] Pip Dunn, British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide (Crowood Press, 2013) p. 161
[4] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 155

Class 123 (BR Swindon Intercity Services 4-car)

The Class 123 was the last type of first generation diesel multiple unit to enter service and in many ways the best, being designed for longer inter city routes with a high degree of passenger comfort including some corridor compartments and B4/B5 bogies which gave a better ride at higher speeds [1]. They had a similar front-end design to the Class 309 EMU with wrap around cab windows [2].

Information
Number built: 40 (10 4-car sets)
Built: 1963
Builder: BR Swindon
Engine: 2 BUT (Leyland Albion) 6-cyl per power car
Power: 920 hp (686 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard Lavatory (DMBSL)+
Trailer Composite Corridor (TCK)+Trailer Standard Lavatory or
Trailer Buffet Standard (TSL/TSLRB)+
Driving Motor Standard Corridor (DMSK)

The Class 123 was also fitted with Pullman style gangways to the cab ends so everyone on a train could access the buffet car. They were used on South Coast-Wales services though were based on Western Region as Southern Region did not want to have anything to do with diesel-mechanical units! They were later used on outer-suburban services out of London Paddington [3].

They were surplus to requirements by the late 1970s but had a short reprieve in the North East of England before finally being withdrawn in 1984.
Class 123 at Swindon (KD Collection)

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel-Multiple Units: The First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 71
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 135
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 83

London Underground 1995 Tube Stock

The 1995 Tube Stock fleet was built in the late 1990s to modernise the Northern Line replacing 1959 and 1972 Tube Stock. Externally the 95ts looks very similar to the 1996 Tube Stock built concurrently for the Jubilee Line though is in six-car sets [1] not seven like the 1996 trains and has quite different electrical equipment and internal layouts.

Information
Number built: 636 (106 6-car sets)
Built: 1996-1999
Builder: GEC Alstom Birmingham
Engine: 4 Alstom ONIX three-phase AC induction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+Non-Driving Motor (UNDM)+UNDM+T+DM

The 95ts has an AC traction control system unlike earlier tube stock which has DC. It has an Alstom ONIX three phase insulated gate bipolar transistor drive (IGBT) drive which supplies variable voltage and frequency to four traction motors per motor car [2]. This is considered more efficient than DC drive and lighter (for example AC motors have no brushes) giving a better power/weight ratio. The IGBT drive can switch high currents very rapidly with a smoother and more even acceleration than earlier systems including the Gate Turn Off system used on the 96ts [3].

The fleet has served well and was given a refresh in 2013 with new seats and improved interiors [4]. The forthcoming extension of the Northern Line to Battersea (due to open in 2020) [5] and a possible splitting of the 2 Northern Line branches into separate lines was at one time thought to require more rolling stock and a top-up order of 1995 Tube Stock was mooted however recent financial constraints have put paid to that plan for now.
51600 at Golders Green

51646 at Embankment

51555 at Finchley Central

51674 at Finchley Central

51717 at Mill Hill East, the dot next to the number denotes this is fitted with de-icing equipment

51622 at Highgate


[1] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 50
[2] TfL London Underground Rolling Stock Information Sheet (4th Edition)
[3] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 175
[4] Kim Rennie, Underground and Overground Trains (Capital Transport, 2017) p. 22
[5] Northern Line extension <https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/northern-line-extension>

Matisa B41UE/B45 Universal Tampers

Along with Plasser & Theurer, Matisa is a major supplier of tampers to Network Rail and UK suppliers. Tampers pack or "tamp" the ballast under the tracks and sleepers to provide a firmer foundation.

Information for Matisa B45
Number built: 5
Built: 2015 (LU)
Builder: Matisa
Engine: Caterpillar diesel
Power: 540 hp (403 kW)

The Matisa B41UE is manufacturer's most numerous type on British rails being especially designed for the British market. It is a universal tamping machine designed for switches and crossings. The machine comprises two parts, the first has the engine and hydraulics and the second is a permanently coupled trailer that contains a workshop [1].

Another type in use in the B45, three of which are in service on plain line and switches and crossings. Two B45s are also owned by London Underground.
Volker Rail DR 75404 at Leicester

DR 75404 is a B41UE, one of eleven in service

Another view of DR 75404

[1] Royston Morris, Railway Maintenance Vehicles & Equipment (Amberley, 2017) p. 9

Guernsey Railway Trams

The Guernsey Railway opened as a steam tramway in 1879. The railway converted to electric operation in 1892 [1] using equipment supplied by Siemens and was one of the first street tramways in the British Isles equipped with overhead electric lines. The tramway ran profitably at first carrying an average of three thousand passengers a day [2] though like most such systems could not compete in the end against motor buses and closed in 1934.

Information
Number built: 19
Built: 1890-1905
Builder: Brush, G.F. Milnes, Falcon Engine & Car Works, Guernsey Railway Company
Engine: Siemens traction equipment (500v DC OHLE)

The tramcar fleet came from a number of sources including three ex-Cardiff Tramway cars and one rebuilt from a steam trailer by the railway company itself. The railway was powered by two Marshall engines and two Siemens generators providing one hundred amperes at five hundred volts. The tramcars also had Siemens motors and chain drives and could run up to twelve miles per hour.

After the closure of the railway the track was lifted within days and the tramcars sold. There have been plans to restore a heritage tram to the island though as yet no progress has been made on this.
Guernsey tramcar in operation, public domain image [2]

[1] Chas S Dunbar, Buses, Trams & Trollies (Hamlyn, 1967) p. 47 
[2] "A Guernsey Railway", The Street Railway Review (Vol 3 1893) p. 559